Young gymnast Madison Hobman travelled across the North Atlantic Ocean last week to compete with more than 1,200 gymnasts at the 2014 USAIGC World Championships held in Orlando, Florida.
Madison, who lives just outside Thame and trains at the Lynx Gymnastics Club in Aylesbury, qualified for the championships last October and travelled to the US with her coach Aimee Gibson for the two-week competition.
In the individual events, the 12-year-old performed a powerful handspring vault for huge score of 9.150 and 13th place, while despite wowing spectators with a superb floor display, especially her sky high hecht dive roll, she narrowly missed out on the finals with a score of 8.350.
Although beam is one of Madison’s least favoured pieces, she performed confidently and her no-wobble, no-fall routine was rewarded with first place and a spot in the beam final the next day, where she finished a creditable 11th despite losing her balance and suffering an unfortunate fall.
In the all-around event – where the four apparatus (vault, bars, beam and floor) scores are calculated for a final total – Madison was 37th.
Her coach Aimee said: “It was such a proud moment back in October when we received our letters to say Madi had qualified for World Championships. With the help of other coaches from our small club in Aylesbury and a couple of fundraising activities, we made it to America.
“Gymnasts, coaches and spectators from all across America, Canada, Bermuda, South Africa and the United Kingdom were all very welcoming and friendly.
“Everyone helped each other, the support was amazing from the crowd and everyone in the arena cheered one another no matter who they were or where they came from. National anthems of all the countries were sung before each competition started.
“Madison took it all in her stride; she competed extremely well and along with her family, has devoted so much time.
“It’s a competition she and I will remember forever and always be proud of.”
Lynx gymnasts will continue to compete in the UK and Jersey over the next 12 months. Their next big competition is in October where they will again be looked on from IGC officials and UKG chairmen to determine who qualifies for the 2015 World Championships. Aimee added: “It would be an honour to be selected for the Championships for a second year running. It’s a lot of hard work, not just with the coaching, the training or the parents supporting and travelling their young superstars but also the fundraising too. I hope we can achieve getting more of our UKG gymnasts into the World Championships in 2015.
“I would like to thank all the coaches who have helped me and Madi in the last eight months. Mr and Mrs Hobman and family supporting Madison and also to the people who have helped with fundraising and organising our flights.”